AT THE midway point of the Super 15, and with the international season less than six weeks away, Craig Ray assesses the candidates in The Times' first Bok Barometer of the season.
15 Pat Lambie (Sharks) - Yes he's been excellent at flyhalf for the Sharks but he is also an outstanding fullback and is an easy choice.
14 Gio Aplon (Stormers) - Simply one of the most elusive runners in the world game and the catalyst for many of the Stormers' best attacks of the season.
13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers) - Has been a thorn in the side of defences and has been brilliant when making his own tackles. Good feet as well.
12 Jean de Villiers (Stormers) - Although injury has interrupted his season, he should be fit for the England series, when his excellent form will hopefully continue.
11 Bryan Habana (Stormers) - He's flitted successfully between centre and wing this season, but coming off his flank and looking for work is where he's most dangerous.
10 Morne Steyn (Bulls) - With Johan Goosen's unfortunate injury Steyn is the logical choice at this stage. He is a proven match-winner and in tandem with Francois Hougaard will have the benefit of playing in a settled combination.
9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls) - He's not the finished article yet, which is bad news for opponents. Great eye for the gap, speed and combative spirit.
8 Pierre Spies (Bulls) - Duane Vermeulen's injury means he misses out, but Spies has been the next best.
7 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks) - His work rate, ability to cross the gain line and tireless defence mark him out as a real star of the future.
6 Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs) - Still possesses limpet-like adhesion to tackled players and is also a strong link on attack.
5 Andries Bekker (Stormers) - His huge frame makes a formidable target in the lineouts, while his general athleticism ensures he contributes more than enough in the loose.
4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers) - The find of the season. All fire and brimstone but he has great skills packaged in an immense frame. The newer, younger, better version of Bakkies Botha.
3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks) - The tighthead cupboard is not overflowing, but Jannie is still consistently producing the goods on a weekly basis.
2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls) - There is no shortage of brilliant hookers in SA, but "Chili" is showing that, with consistent game time and the coach's faith, he is world-class.
1 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs) - He just edges the Bulls' Dean Greyling because of his brilliance in the loose. Still has several rough edges, which will smooth over time.
Reserves: 16 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), 17 Dean Greyling (Bulls), 18 Rynhardt Elstadt (Stormers), 19 Ashley Johnson (Cheetahs), 20 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster), 21 Peter Grant (Stormers), 22 JP Pietersen (Sharks).